The future of digital marketing in higher education

Mar 18
Author:Tom Miller
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Digital marketing is an ever changing, multifaceted beast – there’s no doubt about that. Every day there is a new channel or technology for us marketers to consider. One of the most challenging parts of contending with ever-changing technology is ensuring that you’re providing a consistent experience across these platforms.

What we do know is that everyone consumes content differently. It is critical that no matter your visitor’s journey, it is a seamless experience on their preferred channels and devices.

Here’s three ways to engage with your audience, across a range of channels and devices:

Personalised experiences create higher engagement levels. More consumer data is collected now than ever before; use it to your advantage to deliver content that is highly targeted to what an individual is seeking at that particular time – context is everything. This experience should not be restricted to just your website either, it starts at your very first communication with this person.

An example of a personalised experience: a student visits a few science course pages on their laptop from home, and the data collected allows you to begin serving re-marketing ads to them about your science courses. When this student moves to their mobile device, landing pages are tailored to show science related events, videos and the like. When the student reverts back to their laptop to search for further information, they will be shown the same tailored landing pages they saw on their mobile device. At this point, the student signs up to receive further information about science courses via email, a highly desirable outcome. Using marketing automation tools, you are now able to send the prospective student highly relevant information that will capture their attention and will be more likely to result in action.

User-generated content is a great way to connect you to not only your University community, but connect the community with each other too. This is because user-generated content provides you with the opportunity to provide an authentic insight to your University.

Whether it is copy, imagery or video, keep an eye out for this rich content. Some of the best content you see is captured in the moment by a student or staff member walking around your campus. Identify what channel, or channels, it can be used on and make full use of it. Just make sure you seek approval first!

Mixed-reality is not an achievable marketing tool for everyone quite yet, but one to watch out for. As a recent example, Pokémon Go took the world by storm with their clever use of mixed-reality. There are many ways this could work in higher education – just imagine holding your phone in front of a building and instantly being shown what lecture is currently being held in there. The possibilities are endless.

The vital part for any of these digital marketing concepts is to analyse and measure your results – not only through traditional numeric analytics, but visual analytics too. These insights help you to further understand and inform your digital marketing, and allow you to make data-driven decisions.

So, what experience are you providing?

Criterion’s series of Higher Education conferences cover topics including Admissions, Student Experience, Digital Marketing, Business Improvement and more. View upcoming events here.

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Submitted by Tom Miller

Tom Miller

Tom Miller started in design and event management, but soon found his way into the curious world of digital marketing. Prior to December 2017, Tom lead the way for developing and implementing digital marketing strategies for Flinders University across a range of channels while ensuring they have a strong consistency with their offline counterparts. He has a strong passion for all things design, digital and technology, but when he isn’t behind the screen you can find him tinkering (read: breaking) with a range of automotive and household items.

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